Archive for the 'Overtime' Category

One third of BNZ worksites lost 2 or more staff last year

LonelyLast month Finsec conducted a survey of staffing levels and workload in the BNZ. The nationwide survey of 359 BNZ staff asked staff to quantify and describe how staffing had changed in their worksite.   It also asked the amount of paid and unpaid overtime they did for the bank.

In the last financial year BNZ staff numbers fell by 212.   In the same period the bank grew its profit and its business, and processed more work.So, it is not surprising that some of the survey results included:

  • 44% of staff said that staff levels at their worksite had decreased over the past year.
  • 33% said that staff levels at their worksite had decreased by 2 or more people.
  • 25% of BNZ staff said they worked unpaid overtime every one or two weeks.
  • 17% said that they were unable to take their morning tea, afternoon tea or lunch breaks most days of the week.   A further 17% said they were unable to take these breaks an average of once every 1 or 2 weeks.

Some of the comments from survey respondents were:

  • “For 12 months we had no casual staff, so part time workers had to work full time.”
  • “Their problem is they can’t get staff to stay, always changing/leaving.”
  • “We are continually training new staff and never have enough cover for sickness or leave.”

Clause 6.4 of BNZ’s Collective Agreement reads:

The Bank is committed to ensuring that employees are able to balance their work and personal lives satisfactorily…   The Bank will monitor workloads to ensure that regular and/or excessive additional hours of work are not required.

The best way to for BNZ enforce its collective agreement commitment about workload in clause 6.4 (and also clauses 7.6 and 7.8) is to increase staffing.

(thanks to J L M for the photo)


BNZ staff consider staffing and workload

QuestionThe BNZ Collective Employment Agreement (CEA) currently says some good things and so Finsec has decided to find out how true those values are reflected in people’s actual working lives. It has instigated a simple 4 tick survey that all BNZ staff can fill in over the next fortnight.

For instance the CEA says:

“Clause 7.6: Neither you nor the Bank can agree to more than 37.5 hours being worked in any week without overtime applying.”

So Finsec is asking often do BNZ workers work in excess of 37.5 hours per week and are paid or given time in lieu? (This might include staying late for 15-20 minutes to finish up.) And also how often do workers do overtime and are not paid or given time in lieu?

According to clause 7.8 of the BNZ CEA full time staff are entitled to an unpaid 1 hour break and two paid 10 minute breaks.

So, how often are staff unable to take their entitlement of breaks?

And, finally, The BNZ CEA reads:

“Clause 6.4: The Bank is committed to ensuring that employees are able to balance their work and personal lives satisfactorily… The Bank will monitor workloads to ensure that regular and/or excessive additional hours of work are not required.”

But between 2005 and 2006 BNZ staff numbers fell by 214. In the same period the bank grew its profit and its business and processed more work.

So, how has staffing on individual branches and worksites changed in the last year?

(thanks to Tal Bright for the photo)

BNZ’s aesthetic changes include an end to 7.5 hour days and overtime

As we mentioned last fortnight BNZ has proposed dozens of ‘aesthetic changes‘ to its collective employment agreement. Three of these changes, which we have not had a chance to discuss yet are:

  1. removing the clock span from the collective agreement. The clock span states if anyone works outside the hours of 7am to 9pm they are entitled to be paid overtime.
  2. introducing ‘individual work schedules’ that will potentially override hours of work provisions in the collective agreement. In other words, it could be possible for a manager to give his or her staff ‘individual work schedules’ that require them to work more than 7.5 hours a day or 37.5 hours a week, without being paid overtime, and,
  3. workers in the Call Centre will have their shifts removed from the collective agreement and determined by an ‘individual work schedule’.

Finsec believes that individual work schedules take important workers’ rights out of the collective agreement where everyone gets to have say and a vote on them, and moves them into an individual schedule where people have less of an ability to reject worse working conditions in the future.

Sign the petitionMeanwhile, the Finsec members continue to campaign to improve BNZ’s proposal to restructure its branches. You can sign the petition supporting Finsec’s campaign here.

ANZ National members to vote on offer

Niu and Li De YuNegotiations between Finsec members and ANZ National Bank adjourned at the end of last week. The bank’s proposed terms of offer did not meet the mandate set by members so the negotiating team has put the offer to an indicative vote of all members, to get their views.

The bank’s offer includes a 3.75% pay increase each year of a two year term. These salary increases would not apply to workers with salaries that are 3.75% or more above the printed salary band. Those staff whose salaries are over the top of the pay band but less than 3.75% above would get a proportional percentage increase. The bank has agreed to meet with Finsec during the term of the agreement to discuss issues around staffing and targets. The bank has also proposed a number of changes to the hours of work:

  • Where an employee requests a change to their normal hours of work no additional penal time payments would apply.
  • Where an employee requests to work a 6th or 7th day they will not be paid penal time payments or overtime payments. They would be paid at time one only.
  • Where a person undertakes secondary employment in the bank, in a different role, they will be employed as a casual staff member in that role and the hours worked in that person’s permanent position will not count towards overtime entitlements.

The indicative vote will conclude at the end of this week. If the indicative vote is to accept the offer then it will be put to a formal ratification. If the vote is to reject the negotiation team will seek to resume negotiations with the bank.

(thanks to drs2biz for the photo)

Why hours of work clauses matter

Kelly Smith, ANZ National Union CouncillorCollective Employment Agreement negotiations between Finsec members and ANZ National begin next Tuesday and are scheduled to go until Friday.  One of ANZ National’s main claims is to change the collective agreement provisions around hours of work.

Finsec has only just received the bank’s proposed wording and is still analysing the impact of its proposal.   However Finsec’s broad principle regards hours of work is that workers should have the collective right to be rewarded with extra compensation if they work unsociable hours such as weekends, late nights or overtime that isolate them from their families and communities.   If workers and the bank both want to work those hours that is good.   But workers should have the right to choose and they should be compensated if they work hours that unreasonably impinge on their family, friends or community commitments.   We will be arguing for that principle in negotiations.

However, to protect that principle we need your support.   Finsec members have lost important hours of work conditions in the past because we have lacked enough members or membership support to convince the bank that this is an issue that we care strongly about.   Now is the time to let the bank know you care about your working conditions by getting involved in Finsec.

ANZ National gets flexible

FlexiblityANZ National Bank has recently shared the claims it will be making at collective employment negotiations in a few days’ time. Interestingly the bank has framed several of them in the language of flexible work hours. For instance these two:

Hours of work: The bank proposes that where an employee requests to work additional hours or varied start and finish times which are outside of their normal working hours, overtime will not be paid. However where the bank requests an employee to work extra hours of work they will be paid overtime.

6th and 7th day work: The bank proposes where an employee volunteers to work in a branch that is open over the weekend they will be paid their normal rate, and not double time. However, if the bank requires them to work the weekend, they will be paid a minimum of four hours at double time (T2).

Well, the first implication from all that is don’t try to be helpful by volunteering to do work, eh? Better to be made to do something later than volunteer early and be paid less.

The bank has said the above proposals are, in part, a commitment to facilitate flexible work practices where practicable. Which is interesting because Finsec considers that the real test of flexible working hours is the ability to do less hours, to spend more time with family friends and community, without suffering financially. The bank’s proposal seems to be a way to ‘let’ workers spend more time away from their home life without being paid any cash that comes with overtime and weekends. Which will be great for those millionaire tellers who are trying to avoid uncouth in-laws. But who is the bank trying to help with this move towards flexible work; workers pay packets or bank profits?

(thanks to Roadsidepictures for the photo)

Kiwis work second longest hours in the world

OverworkThis week’s Listener has a story by Linley Boniface on the amount of overwork New Zealanders are doing. Per capita New Zealanders work more than 1300 hours per year, second only in the OECD to Icelanders, who work 1500. Boniface notes that 19% of New Zealanders work more than 50 hours a week, 40% have variable hours of work, 18% do shift work and about a quarter work some hours at night. And, no, the survey she is quoting did not only talk to finance workers! Boniface did however talk to one South Island finance worker at a large lending support unit:

“The management seems very reluctant to replace the people who leave, so the workload is now far too great for the number of people we have. There are no peaks and troughs any more – it’s all peaks… A lot of my colleagues work overtime in the evenings, and come in for four or five hours in the weekend to try to get the workload down to a manageable level for the following week. Even the people who have OOS are asked to work overtime, which I think is awful.”

Finsec, along with many other community organisations is campaigning to change New Zealand’s overwork culture by supporting the Flexible Working Hours Bill currently before Parliament. The bill give workers the right to negotiate more flexible working hours with their employers.

(Thanks to Ben Harris-Roxas for the photo)

BNZ statistics suggest understaffing

Kath BrownAccording to the BNZ’s Social Responsibility Report average employee turnover last year was 24.8% That means one in four people will leave the BNZ each year. In 2006 staff at BNZ took a cumulative 16,314 less days annual leave than they did the previous year. What’s happening?

The gossip went to ask BNZ Union Councillor, Kath Brown:

‘One reason would be that a lot of our banking advisors are not replaced during the time that they take their annual leave. So they’ll take annual leave, and where they used to take two weeks and come back and somebody would have filled in for them, they are now only taking one week because nobody fills in and they come back to an absolute mess and feel like they haven’t had a holiday.”

Kath also draw attention to the statistics on overtime:

“The report says that there is 72 % of us that work overtime at BNZ and only 47% at National Australia Bank. That to me raises questions. Is that because our work ethic here at BNZ is higher? Or is it because we have all just got to the stage that we know it is expected of us? Or is it because National Australia Bank has far higher staffing levels? Some of those questions would be nice to be answered wouldn’t they?”

MP3 Audio iconYou can listen to more of Kath’s interview with the Gossip here.

Three reasons why PSIS doesn’t understand Better Banks

Weekend at the beachPSIS gave us their claims for employment negotiations last fortnight and sadly it is not good news. Finsec’s better banks campaign is meant to be about going forward, and improving bankers for workers companies and customers. But some times it also needs to be about protecting what we already have so things don’t get worse. Here’s three of PSIS’s claims that Finsec members don’t think meet the test of Better Banks.

PSIS are seeking to reduce overtime payment entitlements for part time staff. Under their proposal overtime will only be paid if someone works more than 37.5 hours a week or 7.5 hours in a day. Part time staff employed before July 2006 currently get overtime for any hours over and above their contracted number of hours. This proposal will pretty much remove overtime payments for those staff.

PSIS want to get rid of penal rates for weekend work. Currently PSIS staff get time and a half for working on Saturdays and double time for working on Sundays. Penal rates are payments for working on the weekend. They are a recognition that when people work on a Saturday or Sunday they are giving up the opportunity to spend time with family and friends, play sport or go to church. Penal rates are a way of financially recognising the importance of weekends.

PSIS want to reduce sick leave for new staff. Under the PSIS proposal new staff will have to wait until they have completed six months service instead of the current 3 months before they are entitled to any sick leave payments and the number of days new staff are entitled to will reduce from 10 to 5 days. Paid sick leave needs to be available when people are genuinely sick. It is important that people are not financially disadvantaged when they get sick. It is also important that people stay at home and get better when they are sick rather than coming into work and spreading illness around everyone else.

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